Science and Society: A Reflexive Approach to Official Statistics

  • Walter J. RadermacherEmail author


In this chapter, we open a large box with questions and reflections about the scientific background of official statistics. First, it will be about knowledge: how can we know that we know what we know (or do not know)? Then we will shed light on the social position, role and function of statistics (in the sense of science, information and institution). Some episodes from the history of official statistics are used for clarification. Finally, two concrete and current applications will conclude the chapter: Indicators and Sustainable Development. But first, a methodology is presented that provides a holistic roadmap through this extremely broad topic, the ‘System of Profound Knowledge’ by W. E. Deming.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Statistical SciencesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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